Ahead of an April 4 meeting on what Lower Merion's government should do with a $6.9 million credit that can't just be left in the general fund, Township Manager Doug Cleland has made four suggestions.
Cleland announced Thursday his recommendations to the township's Board of Commissioners:
- Prevent a tax increase in 2013. The board had already approved a tax-neutral 2012 budget before receiving an unexpected $6.9 million in business-tax revenue.
Cleland's announcement did not specify how much money it would take to suppress a 2013 tax increase. Bala Cynwyd Commissioner Brian McGuire told Patch the estimate is about $3.5 million, though "this estimate is far from hard and fast because we can't really say what our revenue and expenses will be for the next 21 months."
- Set aside $1 million for future replacement of equipment. The township's Equipment Fund, for items such as vehicles and radios, is running low, Cleland said.
- Set aside $200,000 for insurance purposes. Also running low is the Insurance Trust Fund, which can be used for deductible payments, legal fees and similar needs, Cleland said.
- Pay for more capital projects in cash, not bonds. Cleland recommended the board designate, sometime in 2012, a certain amount of the "surplus" to help pay for material improvements that typically need some funding from bond issues.
Cleland's announcement did not address the Manayunk Bridge trail renovation, for which the board pledged $250,000 at Wednesday night's meeting.
Cleland said he was asking board members with other suggestions for the money to submit them by 10 a.m. Friday, March 30. The Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 4.